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Kenya’s acid test: Kayange, Ouma to lead Treu’s charges in South Africa

RUGBY By -Phillip OrWA | January 9th 2014
Kenya’s Oscar Ouma vies with Canada’s Tyler Ardron during the 2013 USA Sevens Las Vegas HSBC Sevens World Series Round Five at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, last year.   [PHOTO: AFP]

By Phillip Orwa

Kenya Sevens Rugby team players who have not been fielded for national assignmements of late will be in action during  George Sevens Premier League tournament in South Africa, this weekend.

Paul Treu, the national team’s Performance Director and head coach is expected to field players who had earlier been unavailable such as veteran and former captain Humphrey Kayange and Oscar Ouma. Dennis Ombachi will also be in the squad as well as Michael Agevi, Tony Owuor, Dan Sikuta and Oscar Ayodi.

A large squad travelled to South Africa for a 10-day camp ahead of the invitational tournament at Outeniqua Park on Saturday and Sunday. 

The tournament will be a big test for Shujaa, the Kenyan team, which will meet strong opposition from the hosting nation. South Africa is expected to field astrong squad made up of players turning out for teams like Samurai International, Kaiser Chiefs, Eye of the Tiger, Leopards, Western Province, Masakhane Old Boys and Sharks, among others.

Stellar performance

But despite playing as Shujaa, the Kenyan side, which is among the top rugby sevens sides in the world at moment, will be expected to put up a stellar performance and, if possible, win the tournament.

In Nairobi, Kenya Rugby Union chairman Mwangi Muthee said the team’s weekend action will kick off a busy 2014 for Kenya rugby.

“Under Treu, the Sevens programme is firmly in place and therefore we shall be concentrating on other matters such as the growth of the national 15s side and their quest to play in the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England and Wales,” said Muthee.

glowing tribute

The KRU chairman paid glowing tribute to Treu’s management of the Kenya Sevens programme, which this year will include launching a scouting project that will be focusing on all schools tournaments in order to pick the best talent.

“Treu will lead the management of a national under-19 rugby academy which is already in place under the funding of Unicef and the Kenya Government,” Muthee said.

“The current camp for the Sevens squad in South Africa was arranged by Treu. A fantastic offer that cost us only Sh1,200,000 (with South Africa Domestic Flights Inclusive). For a similar project in England, prior to the last Rugby World Cup Sevens in Russia, we paid Sh3 million. We are grateful to Paul and his contacts in South Africa,” Muthee added.

The KRU chairman confirmed that the National 15s  team will be taking part in this year’s provincial Vodacom League in South Africa.

At the same time Muthee said debate, contributions and opinions about a new KRU constitution and structures of administration at the Unions headquarters have now been concluded.

“When a new constitution is in place, the role and tenure of the CEO of the union, like Chief Finance Officer will become clearer, stakeholders will be required to endorse  the new dispensation with the new constitution,” said Muthee.

The KRU chairman said it was the desire of the union to pay all those involved in the game in the country, from players, coaches and administrators decent salaries. — [email protected]

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